History & heritage  |  8 Apr 2021

Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board members want to correct the historical misspelling of Kaputone Creek, seeking an official name change to Kā Pūtahi.

Following a Community Board request, Christchurch City Council staff are preparing a proposal for the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa to approve a return to the original Māori spelling, Kā Pūtahi.

The Geographic Board holds national place-naming authority. It will review the proposal, and, if accepted, consult with the public on the alteration. It only meets a few times each year, with the proposed name change hopefully on the July agenda.

Community Board Chairperson Emma Norrish says the proposed change to Kā Pūtahi is very timely, complementing moves to rename two local reserves.

“We all recognise the importance and inherent value of the everyday use of te reo Māori, including the pronunciation and original spelling,” she says.

“As more people learn te reo Māori, it is the ideal time to correct place names and acknowledge the role of our indigenous language in enabling acceptance of cultural diversity.”

At the same Community Board meeting, members also asked staff to consult with local residents on proposed plans to rename the two riverside reserves.

The new names – gifted by a local rūnanga – reflect the significance of the Styx area. Under the proposed changes, Styx River Reserve No. 2 and Kaputone Esplanade Reserve would be renamed Te Waoku Kahikatea and Te Waoku Kapuka, respectively.

Staff will update the Community Board on 7 May following public consultation over the suggested reserve names.